Wade on Birmingham

Archive for 'Headlines'

Heads up: Catching up with Rush Propst and the ‘Two-A-Days’ cast

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Rush Propst - Hoover High School - Two-A-DaysRush Propst, the champion football coach with the cocky attitude, has wrapped up his first season in Colquitt County, Ga. You may remember him for his winning ways at Hoover High School, or perhaps for the show “Two-A-Days,” or at the very least, for his downfall in October 2007.

His first season has ended with a loss, including Propst being ejected in the fourth quarter for two penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct. The team finished 4-6. (Hoover, meanwhile, is 11-1, playing Mountain Brook Friday in the third round of state playoffs.)

Has his humble new home softened the coach? Well …

Propst has a long wish list: Assistant coaches freed from classroom duties. An expanded staff. More weight equipment. Artificial turf to match the fields of some other schools, where the grass always seems greener.

“We can’t just keep up with the Joneses,” he said. “We’ve got to pass them.”

The school board approved $95,000 in salary on a coach who was viewed by some as high risk, but who is seen by almost all as high reward. Jones said he would try to accommodate Propst, within reason. Quoting from the New Testament, he said, “To whom much is given, much is expected.”

Meanwhile, the question we get asked (a lot) is “Whatever happened to So-and-So from ‘Two-A-Days’ ”? Wonder no more: Ian R. Rapoport at the Birmingham News tracked down the stars for an update feature for ESPN, ” ‘Two-A-Days’ stars take divergent paths.”

  • Alex Binder left the Bevill State baseball team, works at a Birmingham car dealership to provide for his wife Danielle and 11-month-old girl, Maria Grace.
  • Mark McCarty conquered his addiction to marijuana and pills and “gave (his) life to the Lord” after his mother was diagnosed with brain cancer.
  • Dwarn “Repete” Smith, who played football at Auburn for two days, attends Jacksonville State.
  • Ross Wilson, younger brother of Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson, hit .295 with 15 home runs as a freshman second baseman for the Crimson Tide.
  • As for football, Cornelius Williams plays at Troy, Max Lerner at Furman, the twins Brandon and Byron Clear at Clemson, and Michael DeJohn walked on at Alabama.

New York Times: “High School Football Coach Relishes His Second Chance”

• • •

More headlines | send us your news tips | more ““Two-A-Days.”

Heads up: Former Commissioner Buckelew pleads guilty

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Mary Buckelew After 16 years of service on the Jefferson County Commission, Mary Buckelew has gone down in disgrace. She plead guilty Tuesday to one count of obstruction of justice.

Buckelew lied to a grand jury about receiving $4,000 in designer shoes, a purse, a spa treatment and more, all to influence her vote on sewer bonds and swaps.

For eight years, she served as commission president. In 1997, Governing magazine honored her as a Public Official of the Year. Now, she’s expected to lead prosecutors to bigger targets in the ongoing investigation of the county’s poorly managed sewer system.

She joins a growing list of convicted commissioners: Jeff Germany, Chris McNair and Gary White.

Meanwhile, Jefferson County has considered declaring bankruptcy over the $3.2 billion owed in interest alone. How deep is the financial hole, and how deep is the corruption that led us here?
Birmingham News: Former Jefferson County Commissioner Mary Buckelew pleads guilty

• • •

More headlines | send us your news tips.

Heads up: Natalee Holloway, the (TV) Movie

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

natalee holloway The Lifetime Movie Network, a channel you most likely don’t have in your cable package (or can’t find), is working on a new TV movie, “The Natalee Holloway Story.” The flick, scheduled for 2009, will tell the story of the teenager’s disappearance during the Mountain Brook High class trip to Aruba in 2005.

In case you’re worried about the tone (murder mystery? woman in jeopardy? girls gone wild?), the producers are working with Beth Twitty, Holloway’s mother. Plus, the movie will be based on Twitty’s book, “Loving Natalee: A Mother’s Testament of Hope and Faith.”

No word yet on who’ll play the title role, but we found a few actresses with some resemblance

From left:

allison hannigankaley cuocoholly valance

Allison Hannigan, Kaley Cuoco and Holly Valance.

Who do you think should play Holloway?

• Broadcasting and Cable: Lifetime Movie Network Developing Natalee Holloway Feature

• • •

More headlines | send us your news tips.

Heads up: Look and listen

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Artwalk Prowl the streets of downtown Birmingham tonight and Saturday, and discover the artists of today and, well, tomorrow. Artwalk 2008 begins at 5 tonight, turning First and Second Avenues North, plus Morris Avenue, into a sidewalk gallery of photos, paintings, sculpture, jewelry, mixed media and more.

The rundown:

• • •

More headlines | send us your news tips.

Heads up: Olympian update 3

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Trey HardeeTrey Hardee of Vestavia Hills is out of the running for a medal in the decathlon. The Olympic hopeful was in fourth place after seven events, but failed earlier today in three attempts at the pole vault at his starting mark, 4.7m. He’s currently in 26th place out of 27 finalists.

In the ninth event, the javelin throw, he has a DNS, or “Did Not Start.” The final event, the 1500m, takes place later this morning (or evening in Beijing time).
NBCOlympics.com: Men’s Decathlon standings

• • •

More headlines | send us your news tips.

Heads up: Olympian update 2

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Deontay WilderTuscaloosa’s Deontay Wilder lost to Clemente Russo of Italy earlier today in the heavyweight boxing semifinals. Both he and Cuba’s Osmai Acosta Duarte (who lost his semifinal bout) take home bronze medals from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

He didn’t score a point until the eighth round, saying “Guys with my experience don’t do that well against guys like that.” It was Team USA’s worst Olympic performance ever in boxing.

More Olympics results to come …
Associated Press: Deontay Wilder earns bronze medal in Summer Olympics

• • •

More headlines | send us your news tips.

Heads up: Olympian update

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Deontay WilderAt the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Deontay Wilder advanced to the heavyweight boxing medal round after defeating Mohammad Arjaoui of Morocco on a judge’s decision Sunday [video]. The two had tied at 10 each after 10 rounds on Sunday.

The Tuscaloosa native faces Clemente Russo of Italy on Friday (2 a.m. CDT airing live on CNBC, 3 p.m. Beijing time). The winner moves on to the gold medal round, while the loser fights for takes home a bronze. Wilder represents Team USA’s last hope, as it has always earned at least one medal in boxing each time it has participated.

More Olympics results to come …
Huntsville Times: Deontay Wilder wins, advances to medal round

• • •

More headlines | send us your news tips.

Heads up: The league of extraordinary Olympians

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Margaret HoelzerThree Alabamians and members of Team USA are competing in Beijing in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Decathlete Trey Hardee of Vestavia Hills doesn’t compete until next Thursday and Friday. Tuscaloosa’s Deontay Wilder won his heavyweight match against Algerian Abdelaziz Touilini on Wednesday and boxes in the quarterfinals at 8 a.m. CDT Sunday (airing on tape delay between 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday on CNBC).

But Huntsville native Margaret Hoelzer wrapped up her competitions this evening (or Saturday morning Beijing time) at the Water Cube. After picking up the bronze in the 100m Backstroke on Tuesday, she earned a silver medal in the 200m Backstroke [video], edged out by Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe, her roommate at Auburn. (Look for video to be added soon.)

More Olympics results to come …

Heads up: No quo like the status quo

Friday, July 18th, 2008

city stagesMusic reporter and columnist Mary Colurso would like you to know that running a festival like City Stages is very, very hard work, and that it’s probably too complicated for average folks to understand:

Bear in mind, I have no interest in perpetuating the status quo. Clearly, something isn’t working and has to change in the City Stages formula.

But every time I begin to delve into the festival’s guts — to discuss what a sponsorship entails, for example, or ask how the event’s footprint is configured — I realize that average concertgoers have no idea what it’s like to prepare an event like City Stages and make it happen.

Angry observers can grouse and complain, but they’re not the ones doing the work every year. Nor are most of them in a position to offer practical, effective advice on what City Stages might do to resolve its financial struggles and begin to thrive.

She also mentions that $533,000 in taxpayer money went to the 2008 festival, which will end the budget year around $250,000 in debt.

If we the citizens aren’t able to offer practical advice on how the festival can improve its financial situation, the newspaper of record shares the blame. After all, shouldn’t its music reporter of 11 years — who has access to organizers and documents, who has a master’s degree in journalism — be able to explain such a complex affair as projected revenues and shortfalls to you and me?

Understanding what makes a successful music festival tick in the 21st century, then revamping City Stages in such a model … well, that’s a tougher and more extensive task.

Help us understand, Mary, help us.

If, say, the City Hall reporter were to suggest that average citizens couldn’t understand or weigh in on Birmingham’s operating budget (which passed Wednesday) because of its size and complexity, then the newspaper would have failed in its mission to hold officials accountable while insulting its readership. Hmm.
Birmingham News: Grousing’s not the way to build a better City Stages

• • •

More headlines | send us your news tips.

Heads up: Meet Mrs. Velvet Teddy Bear

Friday, June 27th, 2008

What happens when you add 205 and 404? L-u-v.

Surata Zuri McCantsRuben StuddardRuben Studdard will head to the chapel, and he’s gonna get married. Saturday, Birmingham’s first American Idol champ marries Surata Zuri McCants, 30, at Canterbury United Methodist in Mountain Brook. McCants, a flight attendant from Atlanta, met the 29-year-old R&B singer at a CD signing at Wal-Mart in October 2006.

He’s expected to have 20(!) groomsmen for the ceremony.

According to Canterbury’s “Wedding Guide” (PDF), use of the chapel and sanctuary is free for church members, but $500 and $1,000 for others, cash only. Also, flash photography is prohibited, and video cameras are restricted to the balcony and the right rear door of the chancel.

As for music, only the church organist may play, so no Just a Few Cats. And no secular music, so while “Get U Loose” from his 2006 disc “The Return” is out, “Amazing Grace” from his 2004 gospel CD “I Need an Angel” is fine.

After the honeymoon (details unknown), Studdard plans to release a CD of covers in August, then begin rehearsals for the touring musical “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” which arrives in February at the BJCC Concert Hall.
People: Ruben Studdard to Have 20 Groomsmen at Wedding

Updated with video, after the jump …


Heads up: YP, why not?

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

yp expo

Time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. The successful YP Expo returns for a second time, starting at 5:30 tonight at the Birmingham Museum of Art [map | event details]. More than 30 nonprofit agencies are expected to participate, ready to recruit you to their cause.

The free event runs until 9. What are you waiting for? Your city needs you.
Birmingham News: YP Expo expected to bring hundreds to Museum of Art

• • •

More headlines | send us your news tips.

Heads and tales: Hoover’s finest

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Rush PropstGo Packers: He made Hoover High into repeat state champions, and “Two-a-Days” made him into a reality star. But then football coach Rush Propst lost his job as rules violations and a second family came to light. Nowadays, he’s down in Georgia’s Colquitt County trying to rebuild its once successful program. Plus, he’s doing it for a paltry $95,000 (in a one-year contract) instead of the $100,600 he was making in Hoover.

His wife and two of his children remain in Hoover, while his oldest son will join him on the team. (As in his current family, not his out-of-wedlock family.)

How serious is his new school about football? It has spent or committed $2.9 million toward stadium renovations and a new field house. And for those fans who miss seeing him talk pigskin, check out the interview by a student at his new school.
• Propst on different turf but goal remains same [The Birmingham News]

Soul control: The other reality sensation to come from Hoover High, one Taylor Hicks, has signed with a new label. The American Idol/Broadway singer has landed at Vanguard Records and plans to release his next disc in August under his own brand, Modern Whomp Records.
•Hicks finds niche [New York Post]

On patrol: How’s new Birmingham police chief A.C. Roper doing so far? Seven months in, the former Hoover assistant chief will hold a second Community Crime Fighting Forum at 6 tonight at the South Precinct [map]. Roper will listen to citizens’ concerns and outline his plan to fight crime. Meanwhile, 2008 has seen 34 homicides, about even with last year’s 33 homicides through June 23. Visit our Crime Watch page for continuing coverage.
• Birmingham Police Chief Roper to hold second crime forum for neighborhoods [The Birmingham News]


  • Birmingham applies to host 2020 Olympics’ viewing party
  • SUV drivers flock to farmers’ market for organic produce
  • City leaders adopt four-day workweek, doubling time on job

• • •

More headlines | send us your news tips.

Heads up: Eaters digest

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

slow foodAre you going to eat that? Really? It’s a question that comes up more and more as the “slow food” / “eat local” movement gains steam. Learn more about the issues surrounding what’s on your dinner plate Saturday at Food Summit ’08, presented by Greater Birmingham Community Food Partners.

Two panels will talk about food security and area efforts to improve the supply. The summit runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the YMCA Youth Center, 2700 Seventh Ave. N. [map]. Cost is $10, which includes breakfast and lunch. Register by e-mail at bhamfoodsecurity@gmail.com to reserve your spot for lunch, then pay by check (made out to Magic City Harvest for Food Summit ’08) at the door.

At 1 p.m., the action moves over one block to Jones Valley Urban Farm, with a free tour. At 2, the U-Pick Sunflower Celebration offers music and children’s activities. And at 6, Muse of Fire performs Shakespearean garden scenes. Suggested donation is $25, which includes wine and organic seasonal hors d’oeuvres. E-mail events@jvuf.org to reserve a spot.

Our appetite? Whetted.
Greater Birmingham Community Food Partners site

• • •

More headlines | send us your news tips.

Heads and tales: Let’s rock and/or roll

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

A round-up of City Stages 2008 infotainment …

Diana Ross

Money to burn: Should the City of Birmingham hand over $700,000 in taxpayer money to a 20-year-old event, one that has been in debt for years (especially when the mayor’s pending budget is a mess)? What’s president George McMillan doing with a $68,000 expense account? These and other questions loom as the three-day downtown music festival launches Friday. An even better question: Why didn’t the reporter ask festival officials for comment, and what would they have said?
• Hat in Hand [Black and White]

Wrist-takers: Tickets are $50 for advance three-day passes, $28 per day. Headliners include Diana Ross (pictured), Old Crow Medicine Show, the Flaming Lips, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals and Robert Earl Keen. The weather: highs in the low 80s, lows in the low 70s, with possible thunderstorms Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon.

And while in past years, visitors could re-enter with stamped hands or wristbands, this year’s scheme is different. Friday: no re-entry. Saturday and Sunday: re-entry with wristband, which must be requested before 6:30 p.m. each day. And no white shoes after Labor Day. (That last one is more of a suggestion than a rule.)
• City Stages explains gate policies, wristbands [Birmingham News]

We repost, you decide: Still can’t decide who to see this weekend? Allow us to help …


  • Costumed characters scheduled to pass out on 20th Street
  • Vendors offer organic funnel cakes, tofu gyros
  • Cops to monitor vomiting all along the watchtower

• • •

Complete City Stages 2008 coverage.

More headlines | send us your news tips.

Heads up: Get downtown

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Kelly Ingram Park Happy (early) Juneteenth! To mark the end of slavery, or to put kids in moonwalk bounces, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will hold its 13th annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday.

Among the highlights:

  • Free admission to the museum starting at 10 a.m.
  • Walking tours of the Fourth Avenue Business and Civil Rights Districts, also at 10.
  • Live music and spoken word performers onstage, with headliners the Dazz Band at 7:15 p.m.
  • Fashion show, quilting demonstration, storytelling, rock wall and children’s activities

The free event starts at 11 a.m. in Kelly Ingram Park [map].
• Press release

• • •

More headlines | send us your news tips.